Published on April 17, 2013 | by Kyla Mandel and Nina Reschovsky

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Disgusted protesters turn their backs on Thatcher

Ladies in red protest at Baroness Thatcher's funeral

Ladies in red protest at Baroness Thatcher’s funeral (courtesy of Henry Fry, Zoha Tapia and Chloe Ferguson)

Protesters kept their promise and remained peaceful.

“Maggie! Maggie! Maggie! Dead! Dead! Dead!” chanted the 300 protesters gathered at Ludgate Circus in protest of the alleged £10m spent on Lady Thatcher’s funeral.

Dressed in red, in opposition to the Tory blue, and carrying anti-Thatcher placards, the protesters turned their backs in defiance as Thatcher’s casket passed on its way to St Paul’s Cathedral.

“Turning our backs as the coffin passes, that’s the ultimate show of disgust,” said Andrew Holder, an electronic engineer who said Thatcher’s government ruined his life.

“I basically lost my house and everything because of her policies.” Andrew Holder, protester.

“It’s an absolute travesty that this funeral is being paid for by us. There are enough millionaires in the cabinet [that could have paid]. ”

Protester from The Socialist Worker's party

Protester from The Socialist Worker’s party (courtesy of Nina Reschovsky and Kyla Mandel)

It has been estimated that between £8-10m of tax-payers money has been spent on what is being called a ‘quasi-state’ funeral.

If the final figures tally to over £8.2m, the cost of the Queen Mother’s ceremonial funeral, Margaret Thatcher’s funeral will be the most expensive in British history.

Protesters say the excessive cost of the Baroness’ funeral could have been better spent.

“I feel that this is a whole waste of money when this country is in such a state and there’s so, so many more things that we could spend this money on.”  said Jeannie Keating.

The 69-year-old, who spent much of Thatcher’s time in office supporting the Derbyshire coal miners during the UK miners’ strike, said:

“If we want to see strong women, we should go down to [the coal] pits, where the women kept the families together.

“The families were splitting, sons and brothers were splitting, and whole communities were destroyed,

“It will never recover from that, and it’s heartbreaking as a woman, any woman, I would have expected Thatcher to know that.”

Policeman and protester

More than 4000 police were on duty at the funeral (Courtesy of Kate Anchevskaya)

The protest, ‘Turn Your Back on Thatcher’ which was organised by Rebecca Lush Blum on Facebook, was sanctioned by the police and carried out peacefully.

In preparation for the procession and protests, more than 4000 police officers were on duty at today’s service.

Out of the thousands who came to pay their respects to the former Prime Minister, the protesters served as a small minority in a large and diverse crowd.

“I have no intentions of any hoo-ha, just a peaceful protest,” said Mrs Keating. “I do think that we should not disrespect this woman today, I have no respect for her, but we shouldn’t disrespect her.”

“It was controlled, [the protest] was not a big problem,” said Mohammad Zaman, from the St. John ambulance service.

 

Related Links

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Maggie’s funeral finalises filmmaker’s vision

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